Investigating the Future of Marketing: Top Takeaways from IAB’s NexGen Marketing Summit, New York, June 5, 2019

At the recent IAB NexGen Marketing Summit in New York on June 5th, industry leading marketers gathered together to examine the future of the digital marketing landscape. From OTT to Data Transparency, here are our top 5 takeaways for modern marketers looking to increase consumer engagement and accelerate business growth.

Connected TV (CTV) is Not Slowing Down

Lisa Utzschneider, CEO of Integral Ad Science (IAS), announced a new a verification solution launching in January, which will examine whether video ads are played to completion on CTV, allowing for a brand-new level of tracking ability on these connected devices.  This project, she went on to say, came about because “the opportunity in CTV is massive”, and it is only going to grow, creating huge possibilities for the industry.

CTV can be defined as any kind of streaming video content that is played over an internet connection on a television screen. In this way, CTV offers the best of two different worlds; the reach of TV and the personalization of digital. Verizon Wireless’s Kamal Chada added that as 5G evolves it will lift all internet-based devices with it and “CTV will benefit from that lift as well”.

But Kamal also stresses that vigilance is crucial as brands begin to ramp up their CTV spend. The importance of measurement, tracking and optimization cannot be underestimated to protect brand safety and ensure fraud free environments

Listen up: Audio is Shifting

More people now tune in to audio devices than ever before and with this surge in audiences comes new opportunities for advertisers.

According to Andy Kelly, iHeartMedia’s Senior Vice President, Marketing & Brand Innovation, 1 in 4 Americans have smart speakers, half of that have two, and a quarter have three or more. Audio’s renaissance is largely due to its ability to seamlessly fit into a modern consumer lifestyle, in which audiences crave personalized content. Kelly suggested that audio doesn’t require 100% attention; users can cook dinner and listen to a playlist or ride the subway and listen to a podcast, and this gives audio content the ability to “create a more personal and human relationship with a brand”.

Lisa Jacobs, Director of Ad Results Media, cautions patience for brands as audio cements itself in the advertising industry. It’s important to view audio as largely a storytelling platform. The most effective audio ads will offer listeners an authentic, resonant experience that will connect with them personally, something that younger generations are seeking out.

While positive steps in tracking podcast ads have been taken, the long-term value and ROI is yet to be determined as the industry has still mastered accurate data measurement to drive effectiveness.

A GDPR-type Law for the US? Brands, get prepared.

Following the introduction of the European GDPR in 2018, US marketers feel there is more data legislation on the horizon in the United States. According to the IAB, who have met with federal legislators on the issue, there is promising alignment with the advertising industry on what any new legislation should achieve. Whether this will mirror the GDPR or form a new set of US regulations, the industry is yet to discover but in the meantime, there are several steps marketers can take to ensure readiness.

  1. A direct relationship is a great advantage. Brands who leverage their consumers for first party data achieve the gold standard while third party data is more complicated. Connecting brands directly to consumers, ensuring that data buying is well sourced, and that all partners’ methodologies are also compliant is very important.
  2. Choosing to give consumers transparency over how their data is collected, stored and used will be key in establishing trust and building customer lifetime value in the future.
  3. Brands should be actively monitoring regulation and adjust their plans accordingly. Planning ahead will ensure you future-proof your business against potential compliance issues.

Augmented Reality (AR) is Transforming the World of Storytelling

Another key takeaway from IAB’s NexGen Marketing Summit was the rise of immersive storytelling through AR. Although the ad unit for measuring AR performance has not yet been fully established, the explosion of AR mobile content has led to the rapid rise in its adoption. AR offers a new experience – a move away from quick, social entertainment to personalized immersive engagement through editorial, branded content and programming.

Through AR, an ad or brand experience can enhance the consumer’s world; everything from allowing the individual to try on a lip color, or see how a couch would look in their living room, to bringing a fire-breathing dragon to life. The writing is on the wall – consumers are ready so brands must maximize the opportunity by gaining a better understanding of the AR tool set to begin telling their stories in more immersive, experience-driven ways.

As the AR world accelerates, brand safety and fraud need to be front of mind – working with trusted agency partners who have resource and expertise to create strategic and effective campaigns will allow brands the opportunity to drive engaging content and ROI, positioning themselves ahead of their competitor set for the new wave of consumption.

To discuss these industry developments and discover ways in which your business can drive growth through performance marketing,get in touch today.